The Lord of the Rings Symphony had its North American premier in Atlanta this weekend, with the composer Howard Shore conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Over two hours, six movements (two from each film), it was every bit as awesome as you might imagine. The ASO chorus sang in Elvish, Orc, Anglo-Saxon and modern English.
On two screens at the top they showed the original concept sketches for scenes and characters from the trilogy, some of which were stunningly beautiful. You could see the concept of Gollum evolve from something very evil and Orc-ish into the more sympathetic character in the films.
There was theatrical lighting as well, ranging from a soft Irish green for the Hobbiton scenes to flames that engulfed the whole stage during Gandalf's fight with the Balrog at Khazad-dum.
I'm practically sure there will be a Telarc/ASO disc of this soon, but if you have a chance to see it live or on video, hop on Shadowfax and get yourself over there! It's a night you won't forget.